Uncertain 2008 expected for buyers

19 December 2007
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19 December 2007 | Paul Snell

The recent economic downturn could make life more difficult for buyers next year, with the construction, manufacturing and service sectors all affected.

Commenting on the performance of CIPS/NTC Purchasing Manager' Indices in 2007, Roy Ayliffe, director of professional practice at CIPS, said that 2007 had been a mixed year for buyers, and the impact of this on 2008 was uncertain.

"It was an unsettled year for the three economic sectors covered by the PMIs. Purchasing managers in the manufacturing and construction sectors reported a period of solid growth, despite battling against increasing input costs," he said. "However, the services sector, which got off to such a positive start, suffered towards the end of the year as a result of economic uncertainty and rising fuel and food costs."

The service sector could be particularly affected next year. As the rising cost of food, fuel and wages pushed up input prices, service providers pushed up their prices to compensate. These factors contributed to a slowdown in the growth of activity and new business at the end of 2007.

Buyers were more positive about the future of the construction and manufacturing sectors, although their future performance remains unclear. Purchasers were optimistic about improved market conditions and company expansions in construction during 2008.


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